I discovered the artist Kot Bonkers on Instagram a while ago. I can still remember scrolling and suddenly coming across one of her childish drawings with a punchy message scribbled across the mind of a talking head: ‘learn to enjoy your own company’. I followed her straight away, alongside the other thousands of people, and thus began my small injection of honest advice everyday. The easy-to-comprehend pictures complete with give-no-fucks captions are a welcome contrast from the usual filtering of reality which constitutes the world of Insta and social media.
When I messaged Kot and she agreed to answer a few questions I was simultaneously pleased and wary. Communicating with this frankness on a one-to-one level is pretty intimidating when you’re used to the sugar-coated sweetness and small talk which the majority of the population employ, including myself. True to form, as soon as I ask her to tell me about herself – she tells me that she’d rather not.
I like to keep my personal life (certain parts of it) to myself, and then share my world-views via drawings & illustrations. I often don’t understand why people are so nosy, in general, say, all those corny ass magazines about celebrity dating life, their weight, their clothes. It’s obsessive & scary. If I love certain musician, I love him/her for their music, for their creative output. I couldn’t give two fucks about their personal life. I guess I’m a recluse.
She was more up for talking about her art than her dating life, weight and clothes, not surprisingly.
Art came about naturally when I was a kid. I was always building or drawing something. Maybe because I was a single child in my family I learned to entertain myself without needing company of others. I don’t know how my art has progressed. Nothing is static, everything moves ahead, and self expression naturally grows with the person.
A lot of your art is reflective of the 21st century. How do you feel about the way our world is evolving, and if you could go back to live in any other era, would you?
Yes, I am influenced by my circumstances & my environment. I think the world will be fine, but people will eventually self destruct. There are way too many of us on this planet, and we all think we’re very important. Not sure I’d pick a particular era. I’m good where I am. I think people haven’t really changed. We can still relate to ancient books & all the love related drama, the wars, the pain described in them. History repeats itself. Circumstances change, yet the model, the structure of the way people relate to each other remains the same.
From what I’ve read, you’ve said that your drawings aren’t supposed to be explicitly feminist. However, judging from the fact that a significant amount of your work centres around a lot of the bullshit which women have to put up with, I assume that you would call yourself one. Could you explain why you don’t want your work labelled as feminist?
I am not a feminist. I don’t want to belong to any particular group or ideology, even if it claims to be a positive one. Every single ideology has ”groupthink” within it.
However I am not pro or anti anything. I just know what I stand for. Both genders face enormous amounts of stereotypes and expectations they have to live up to. I happen to be a woman, just like I happen to be European. I therefore speak from my own perspective, but try to also grasp and understand (to my best ability) different perspectives, coming from people who are not like myself.
I find your drawings comedic in a cynical way – they often make me chuckle out loud. What makes you laugh out loud?
Depends on the day. Sometimes I feel like the whole way we communicate makes me laugh. Like, small talk and people awkwardly trying to spark a conversation while not really being themselves. It’s all often very petty, comedic, in an almost sad way. We have put ourselves into so many boxes, limiting our own selves, our abilities & creativity.
Out of all of your drawings, which are your favourite pieces and why?
I don’t have favourite ones. Perhaps the ones I post. 🙂
Interview by Alex Howlett